Alexander Zverev retires hurt against Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-final, bringing a heartbreaking end to a thrilling match.
Zverev was trailing the match 6-7, 6-6 when he suffered a fall.
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The German had to leave the court on a wheelchair after he turned his right ankle when tracking down a Nadal forehand deep behind the baseline.
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“Very tough. Very sad for him, honestly,” Nadal, celebrating his 36th birthday on Friday, said.
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“He was playing an unbelievable tournament. To see him crying there is a very tough moment. All the best to him.”
In a three-hour physical clash, both players looked to dictate with their heavy-hitting as they pulled each other around in front of a vocal crowd.
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Nadal saved four set points in the tie-break, battling back from 2-6 to clinch a mammoth first set after one hour and 31 minutes.
Zverev served for the second set as well, at 3-5, but lost his nerve. The 6’6 German served three double faults to gift the game.
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Devastatingly for Zverev though, he could not continue after suffering an injury to his ankle in the last point of the 11th game of the second set.
The 25-year-old returned to court on crutches, where he hugged the Spaniard, before receiving a standing ovation.
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